Ryanair threatens to close Madeira base

Airport Operator wants excessive price increases

Funchal Airport - Ryanairs Madeira base

Ryanair has criticized proposals for airport taxes and threatens to close its Madeira base . The ‘low-cost’ airline Ryanair criticized ANA’s proposal to increase airport fees for 2024 and threatened to close the base in Madeira if costs do not fall, according to a statement released today.

In the note, the carrier said that Portuguese airports operator ANA, operated by French company Vinci, “is trying to increase rates in an excessive and unjustified manner throughout the country, including Lisbon (+18%), Porto (+13% ), Faro (+12%), Azores (+8%) and Madeira (+9%)”, warning that this will have “a very negative impact on connectivity, tourism and employment in Portugal, particularly on island economies”.

Ryanair considers that “there is no justification for these excessive price increases in addition to ANA’s already high airport taxes”, noting that the company “has no competition in Portugal”. For Ryanair, this increase “is exactly the opposite of what Portuguese airports need”, particularly “those in Madeira and the Azores, which depend on low airport taxes to boost” connectivity and tourism.

“Surprisingly, instead of seeking to reduce the costs of access to the islands, ANA is trying to make access even more expensive”, the note highlighted, with increases in fees in Madeira and the Azores, “in addition to the excessive increases applied last year, irreparably harming the competitiveness of Madeira and the Azores”.

Call to reduce fees at Ryanair’s Madeira base

In the same note, Ryanair said that “it has already been forced to close its base in the Azores following previous ANA fee increases”, and called on the concessionaire “to reduce airport fees in order to avoid the same fate for its Madeira base”.

The carrier also pointed out “a new threat to the growth of tourism in Portugal”, indicating the “costs of the EU emissions trading scheme which unfairly targets short-haul flights and which, inexplicably, will include the EU’s outermost regions ( including Azores and Madeira) from 2024”.

The airline said that “tourists will therefore have to bear higher costs when visiting Madeira compared to other non-European holiday
destinations.” “While other EU airports reduce fees to promote traffic recovery, ANA has been increasing fees year after year, which will lead to the airport passenger tax at Lisbon Airport increasing by 50% from 2019 “according to Ryanair

“Ryanair calls on ANAC [National Civil Aviation Authority] to intervene urgently and protect Portuguese passengers and island economies” from ANA’s “excessive” prices.

ANA defended the increases in airport charges it proposed for 2024, the majority of less than one euro, justifying them with inflation and increases in previous years, according to a note sent to Lusa, on September 19.

In the document, the manager indicated that the “definition of rates results from the application of the economic regulation formulas in annex 12 of the concession contract, which has been public knowledge since 2012”.

According to ANA, the contract foresees “an evolution globally aligned with inflation, adding fees that were not charged in previous years”, highlighting that “the context of high inflation significantly impacts the exploration and investment costs of airports”.

Ryanair threatens to close Madeira base 1

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16 thoughts on “Ryanair threatens to close Madeira base”

  1. Taxes are the preserve of governments, not companies, fees are what this is about, aligning the artical to taxes, suggests that thus is government introduced,which clearly it isn’t, just like airlines have done since the damage from the pandemic,all airport operators are now doing same, costs to drop off, pick up, non refundable funds for using trollies, and Ryan itself, will take every opertunity it can to give people extra costs for infringing its rules, in fact if you read up on it, their profits are largely generated by ” extra charges”
    There needs to be greater transparency on these build up of costs, and UK consumer law has started on this very thing, all inclusive costs not build up costs,set out at beginning of your booking journey,so that comparables can be made from get go. Ryan Air are complaining about something they have been practicing in an underhanded way,for a very long time, Their own CEO has gone on record a number of times,stating ” the days of cheap flights,are gone”

    • Harry, when looking for a flight to Madeira I have a set of markers. Any company that fly’s from Birmingham, East Midlands, Bristol or Manchester, time of flights, and return, extras, like parking and/or petrol, if I don’t have a willing friend. Then I look at the flight price, plus extras, which in my case is hold baggage and reserved seat. Consistently Ryanair Manchester wins by a country mile. My holiday starts when the aircraft touches down in Madeira. The flight is as much a chore as the trip to the airport. A three and a half hour necessity. I’m not really interested in the staff, or the drinks or the duty free, I find that most of the carriers are alike. What I can’t understand is that there seems to be people out there who look at the flight price and expect it to be the final figure.

  2. Well knowing the way the Madeira government works, usually they will try to protect the people that travel by having some type of agreement with ANA’s to avoid any increase to anyone . What no one wants is TAP be the only one again controlling the Madeira market and doing whatever they want with the flight tickets prices . As far Ryanair my last experience with them in August was dreadful with a flight delay for many hours without any information why was delay or even any explanation of anything .And when waiting many people that been flying with them said this is the usual typical behaviour of Ryanair that been happening very frequently if they change the way they operate people will be trying to find another alternative company like me and others . I think it is time for Madeira to have a ship that can go from mainland to Madeira transporting not only people and vehicles and goods to the island this will help not only when there is bad heather but also with pricing of the goods when commercialized in the market .

    • Isabel, the start up cost of a ferry would have to be met by EU funds. Then subsidised again because of the lack of paying customers. How many people are going to fly into whichever Portuguese mainland port the ferry would sail from. I would never use it, I leave my house at 03-00 in the morning to catch my direct flight to Madeira. By 11.30 I hope to be settled in my accommodation, eight and half hours after leaving home. There is no way you are going to get me or many others from the UK or Ireland to pay extra to transfer from the Airport to the dock then spend 30 hours plus on a sea journey. As to the idea that the ferry could take passengers who landed at Porto Santo because of problems when Madeira Airport is closed it couldn’t happen, the ferry runs to a time table, it can’t just decide to change it’s route when the weather closes down.

  3. Totally agree George, what I’m alloring to in my text,was that even Ryan Air are trying to catch up with the huge losses that all travel companies and travel providers felt when they had to vertually shut down for twelve months, so complaining that others are ” milking the cow” at the travelers expense seems to me,kettle calling frying pan black arse, is a bit of a cheak. But what do I know, like everyone on this blog, we have no or little influential say in it. Other than stay at home.

  4. Harry, I take your point, I would love to hear from some of the other operators but Covid was back at the end of 2019. If 9%, Ryanair’s figure is correct, then yes I can understand. As to our influence, because of the flight prices this year, I will be visiting twice rather than the four visits we have been.

  5. Only visiting twice this year was not a protest, I would have loved to have visited more but we have a budget. Even Ryanair out of Manchester, plus petrol, plus parking makes me think, I’m being screwed.


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